You don’t have to read minds to know how we got to this point, check out the previous episode’s analysis here!
Well that was a waste of an hour of my life. Drop Your Buffs! has always been about the game of Survivor and not the show, so I’ll try not to spend too much time discussing the banality of this episode, but unfortunately there’ll be some things I just can’t avoid. Anyway, let’s make like Peter and break (it) down.
The above may seem a little harsh against Pete, but the truth is listening to Pete talk about his family was the only thing that made me feel anything this episode. I’m a sucker for the family stuff, so it didn’t take me long to get some sympathetic tears flowing. Regardless, the first 15 minutes was all ‘we’ve come so far’. It was a full 15 minutes (without ad break) of uninspired, hackneyed platitudes. That’s a quarter (more than when you factor in ads) of the episode listening to our remaining four essentially say the same thing over and over. How hard it has been to get this far, how they’re so proud of themselves and excited by the prospect of a one in four shot to win $500K. I had to laugh when T-Bone told us that she gave it her all. How many times this season did she tell us she was giving up? Give me a break. Survivor has NEVER been this boring before, the first quarter added NOTHING to the episode, the series, or the individuals’ character arcs. If US Survivor has never served up anything this insipid and vapid, what makes production think that it will work for Australia? Ugh.
The other bookend to this episode was 15 minutes of our flavourless foursome mostly telling us how, to quote Jerkicho, “the ultimate decision”, could mean the difference between $550K and nothing. Really? I’m pretty daft so you better have each of those players plus J-LaP reiterate that over and over again or there’s a possibility I might not comprehend the gravity of the advantage. This was literal face-palm television.
So when you factor in the challenge itself (which I quite enjoyed) was close to another 15 minutes, that leaves only 15 minutes of actual ‘gameplay’. This gameplay consisted of Jerkicho putting the jury into two groups, the ‘I don’t knows’, and the ‘they’re fines’. Apparently Tessa is the only one who doesn’t fall into either of these groups because “I don’t know if she respects gameplay or…”. Doesn’t the “I don’t know” part of that sentence put her into the ‘I don’t know’ group?! Fark me, this was like pulling teeth. Barely watchable. That’s enough episode bashing for now, let’s talk gameplay.
Cleaning the Trash Out of the Room
The only strategy to chew on tonight was all about which jury member you vote out. And that particular morsel is wafer thin. Of course, you want to vote out the one who is unlikely to vote for you, and who is likely the most vocal about it. I liked that he asked the rest of the players for their opinions. The more info you’ve got on your opponent’s motivations and opinions on how the jury will vote the better. To not do so when given the opportunity would leave you with a myopic view of the opinions of the jury. Of course, they’re going to try and influence you, but there’s valuable info to glean from that. Incidentally did I miss something in the unveiling of the advantage? I didn’t know he could ask questions of the jury until we got to tribal council. I assume he was aware of that some time before council started. I can’t argue against his choice of questions and to whom he asked them. Having never seen this situation before it’s not something I’ve ever pondered. I understand this is the first time ever in US and Aus Survivor history that the remaining players have been able to communicate with the jury prior to the final tribal (fill me in if I’m mistaken). I guess that’s kind of a big deal. I particularly liked the question he asked Anneliese, concerning what might make her sway her mind in a final tribal speech. Nice one. It gives Jerkicho something to consider when developing the speech. Unfortunately, it gives his opponents the same info, but I’d prefer to have the info and know that my opponents did too, than not have the info and be wondering if I’m barking up the wrong tree. One thing I wonder about his decision to vote out Tessa (so fuggin sad to see her go, that’s when I REALLY REALLY cried, would have loved to see her exit interview), is would he have kept her had she picked Michelle as the weakest? I suspect he intends to take Michelle to the end if he can help it, so maybe that’s why he chose Tessa to go. He couldn’t trust that she wouldn’t vote for Michelle. I hope that we find out the specific motivations behind his questions when his game finishes, because I’m certainly intrigued. We may even find out at the finale. I’d like to think that if he makes it to the end, he would leverage this part of his game into his story. Explaining what he did with his opportunity, and how it helped him.
Sweetening up the Competition
Before I go, could it be argued that T-Bone’s offer of lollies to Michelle is strategic gameplay? Well in T-Bone’s mind it was. I guess at this point she’s got nothing to lose. If it works, great. Another tool in the tool bag, in more ways than one. If not, whatevs. Hopefully we’ll have more to discuss tomorrow, if the preview is anything to go by, with family visits on the agenda, it looks like it will be another tears one. I got nothing else for you. Head back to camp.
– Russell Feathers
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